The Abundance of Genius

“I don’t need it perfect, I need it Tuesday,” … film industry adage.

I’m always amazed by our ability to be creative. I had given my word to completing a short story by February 28th for a compilation I’m working on with two other writers.

As of February 6 p.m. on the 28th, I had nothing.

By 10 p.m. I had a fantastic short story, with an ending that pretty much knocked my socks off. I’m always extremely humbled when I’m reminded that it is only my own ego-self that imposes limitations on my work (myths along the lines of, I can’t think of anything, I don’t know what to write, etc). Especially, when there is evidence time after time, that when I need to get work done, I am more than capable of doing so.

For there is no limit to imagination, creativity, or ideas; every single one of those concepts are abundant, never-ending, always available. To everyone the world over. We just have to be willing to tap into them and let the process happen.

But how do we connect with this abundance? In part, years of practice, and a willingness to follow where your fingers lead, even if it makes you uncomfortable or you can’t see the end result.

But as well, I do NOT believe that my creativity comes from within. When I’m writing a first draft, I very much feel it is a divine process. When asked where I come up with some ideas, I have to respond, “I didn’t,” — because whatever creative force is in charge of my talent — is the one who came up with it, I was merely the channel for putting the ideas on paper.

Elizabeth Gilbert expresses this concept best in her famous TED Talk on Genius and I highly recommend it to any artist:

To have a thriving writing career, a writer needs to  believe in the abundance of genius because, in the end, writing is a job. And jobs require results. If we believe there are limits to creativity, then we are putting an expiry date on our own ability to be talented.

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